Knuckle Cracker

Creeper World 4 => Support for Creeper World 4 => Topic started by: Csimbi on February 02, 2021, 10:59:30 am

Title: Online map database improvements
Post by: Csimbi on February 02, 2021, 10:59:30 am
I found the online map database component of CW4 lacking in comparison to Particle Fleet.

Here are are few things that I think could be done better (some of this can be adopted from Particle Fleet):
1. Allow rating the map from 1 thru 10 and allow search in DB based on average score. A simple thumbs up does not reflect the quality of a map. I found that in Particle Fleet, when I search for maps, a rating of >=6.5 gives me maps worth playing. In CW4, even "worthless" maps have hundreds of thumb ups. There is a difference between "ok", good" and "excellent" and the thumbs up system cannot reflect that; it only shows how many people played it without disappointment. The average score works even if only 10 people have voted, allowing new maps to have a high rating.

2. Allow score submission when the map is finished in one go, without having to go back to the map browser, having finding the map, having to open it and then voting on it. This process feels more like a burden at the moment. I'd like to vote there and then with one click, like in Particle Fleet.

3. The caching and paging of the maps and their previews feels painfully slow. In Particle Fleet it felt fast and snappy.

Please consider some improvements in these areas.
Title: Re: Online map database improvements
Post by: GoodMorning on February 03, 2021, 12:45:53 am
In reverse order, and as far as my understanding reaches:

3. This has been changed in order to improve speed, if I understand correctly, by not downloading all the metadata for every map at once like PF did. Slow connections benefit especially.
2. I gather this has been introduced in a post-release version, but I may be wrong.
1. You have opened a can of worms; searching "scoring system" on this forum will give you an idea of why. The (very) long story short is "people like different things", and this is/was an attempt to overcome the flaws of the 1-10 system. (It's highly unlikely to change now.)
Title: Re: Online map database improvements
Post by: Csimbi on February 06, 2021, 02:56:11 pm
1. Can of worms or not, this thumbs up system does not yield realistic rating. Only those maps come up front that people rated. Not the ones that would be rated high. I feel it's a total trashware and I bet you will see play rates dropping like flies very fast. You are making this game obsolete before its time.
2. You are wrong, you still have to go back and find it! I have not rated a single map yet because of this nonsense. I guess I am not alone. This contributes to the low volume of ratings we see.
3. Speed? We are past y2k, most people have broadband and far better than a dual-core junk. Have a look at the current Steam stats. It'd be nice to bring this game up to current standards.

+1 The sort setting is not remembered either. Seems like the online DB browser is the most neglected feature of the game (the rest works fine).
+1 Actually, beacons can't be selected with a dragbox.
Title: Re: Online map database improvements
Post by: Karsten75 on February 06, 2021, 04:30:42 pm
Are you familiar with the adage that "one catches more flies with honey than vinegar"?
Title: Re: Online map database improvements
Post by: Xindaris on February 19, 2021, 07:06:58 pm
Well...honey, vinegar, salt or otherwise, I have to agree that a thumbs-up based scoring system isn't very good. Speaking from experience with the portal 2 custom maps in steam, which actually has both thumbs-up and thumbs-down, when there's a lot of maps coming out at a time the ones that get seen by those looking for "good maps" are effectively just the ones that were both at least halfway decent and lucky enough to have been seen by a lot of people already. a 10-point scoring system (for example) has the definite advantage that a map won't get buried as quickly, and unrealistically high or low scores will tend to be corrected over time since more people will actually be able to see them and evaluate the map themselves.

Also, I tried to search for "scoring system" on this forum and didn't find the aforementioned can of worms. A majority of the results were about the way the game scores the player rather than the way players score maps.
Title: Re: Online map database improvements
Post by: GoodMorning on February 22, 2021, 03:07:25 am
1. Would that I had a solution, but I have far less idea than knucracker
2. My mistake, then.
3. Some of us don't have that, and count ourselves lucky that this forum is generally text-based.

(As to the search term, my mistake. "Rating system")

My approach is "when I have a working example of a DB capable of reliably and efficiently storing map-rating-score-etc, then I am qualified to judge technical matters". (Plus a Raspberry Pi running a micro-DNS on my network to test that DB is compatible by redirecting the game's requests there.)
Title: Re: Online map database improvements
Post by: Xindaris on February 22, 2021, 12:22:17 pm
I think that's a bit like saying "when I have a successful painting career, then I can judge others' art". You can competently evaluate things without being an expert at building them. Probably my favorite rating system is the one used for Deadly Rooms of Death over at the Caravel forums, which separates into a 10-point "fun" scale and a, completely separate, 10-point "difficulty" scale. From a creator's standpoint, nothing beats actual, verbal feedback, but for someone looking for something to play, having at least some concept of the average numerical opinion of others is definitely much better than the vague information that x people pressed a button whose precise meaning is itself too vague to be helpful (is it "I didn't completely hate this", "I really, really enjoyed this", or something in between?).

I don't feel terribly strongly about this, but it does seem weird after three straight games (CW 1-3; I played particle fleet but don't remember participating in its custom maps myself) of having (to me) a very sensible, 10-point rating system, to go to something much less useful in almost every way I can think of.
Title: Re: Online map database improvements
Post by: Karsten75 on February 22, 2021, 03:52:12 pm
The long and the short of it is that regardless of what rating system is used, some portion of the player or mapmaker community is not happy with it.